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Breach Of Contract

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Texas and New York Breach Of Contract Lawyer

Contracts are at the heart of all business transactions.  Contracts create specific rights and obligations that must be followed and fulfilled by the parties to the contract. The goal of a contract is to clearly manage the relationship between the parties. At Kirkpatrick Law, we can help you prevent or mitigate damages the arise from a breach of contract. A breach of contract occurs when a party to the contract fails to perform any of that party’s obligations set forth and agreed to in the contact.

Types of Contract Breaches Include:

  • Material Breach
  • Non-Material Breach
  • Anticipatory Breach

What Makes an Enforceable Contract?

A valid enforceable contract is created by an offer, an acceptance of the offer, a meeting of the minds and each party’s consent to the terms. Typically, a contract is in writing, yet this does not always need to be the case. In the case of a written contract, execution and delivery of the contract is mutual and binding.

When one party or multiple parties fails to fulfill their obligations, this creates a breach of contract. When a breach occurs, the other party or parties may face a heavy financial burden. Kirkpatrick Law handles breach of contract cases involving formal documents, letter agreements, employment agreements, non-compete agreements, insurance contracts and even oral or private handshake agreements just to list a few types of agreements. Informal and verbal agreements can be upheld in court under certain circumstances and Kirkpatrick Law is versed in those types of agreements.

When Does Breach of Contract Occur?

Whenever a party to a contract fails to uphold and fulfill its promises, a breach of contract occurs. This can be a material or non-material breach of contract.

A material breach of contract can best be described as one party’s failure to fulfill the agreed material essence of the contract. The party affected by this breach generally will sue the other for significant damages. An example might be a party’s failure to timely and properly complete a construction project or a party’s failure to make payments of amounts owed. A material breach usually results in significant damage claims.  A non-material breach happens when the core or essence of the contract has been or is still being performed but certain terms that don’t go to the essence of the contract have not been performed. An example might be a party making late payments. However, the party who has not breached the agreement can still sue for damages in such situations.

A breach can also be anticipatory. This is sometimes called repudiation of contract. That is, when one party makes it clear they do not intend on fulfilling or even undertaking its contractual obligations within the agreed time period or term of the contract or does something to inhibit another party from performing. In such situations, the other party can seek damages for this anticipatory breach.  

Texas law recognizes a claim for breach of contract when the following elements exist:

  1. Existence of an enforceable contract
  2. Defendant’s failure to perform its contracted obligations
  3. Damages sustained by the plaintiff due to defendant’s breach

Under Texas law, you could receive the following remedies for a breach of contract:

  • Recovery of the value of services performed
  • Compensation, such as actual, reliance, restitution and liquidated damages
  • Specific performance of contract terms
  • Release from contractual obligations
  • Revision of a contract to reflect true intention of the parties due to a mutual mistake

What to Do If a Breach Has Occurred

When one party does not live up to the agreed upon terms of a contract it can have severe consequences for a business. Understanding your rights and obligations after a breach is important. Parties often unintentionally waive their rights or fail to take proper steps to preserve their claims for damages.

Your options on what to do, depend on rather the case was a material or non-material breach. In the case of a material breach, the party that commits a material breach, may allow the other party to be excused from further performance of the contract. The non-breaching party may also recover damages or, in some cases, enforce the contract by specific performance. 

When a breach is immaterial, the non-breaching party is not excused from future performance. However, they may sue for the damages caused by the breach. In determining whether a breach of contract is material, courts look to the following factors:

  • The extent to which the non-breaching party will be damaged based on the benefit had the contract been reasonably executed.
  • To what extent the non-breaching party can be adequately compensated for the loss of benefit
  • The likelihood of the breaching party to cure its breach, considering all the circumstances
  • The extent to which the behavior of the breaching party comports with standards of good faith and fair dealing.

Hire A Breach of Contract Attorney

 When you work with Kirkpatrick Law, you are working with an attorney that is highly skilled and knowledgeable in contract law. He has the experience and ability to help in legal dispute matters in Texas and New York. Rather you are experiencing a contract dispute, financial fraud, or other types of legal business dispute matters, call us today. Eric Kirkpatrick can guide you and help you understand your legal options.